'Next season we'll have a right go' - Roberts on Fleetwood win and Chambers' future
- Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.c
Ipswich Town first team coach Gary Roberts has vowed the team will 'have a right go' in League One next season following this afternoon's 3-1 home win against Fleetwood.
James Norwood Gwion Edwards and Troy Parrott all scored within the opening half an hour, while the Blues could and probably should have extended their lead further in a wide open last day dead rubber at Portman Road.
It means that Paul Cook's men have finished ninth in the third-tier table, a slight improvement on the 11th place finish of the curtailed 2019/20 campaign, heading into what is set to be a summer of major change.
"It's been our Achilles, we haven't scored enough, we knew that," said Roberts.
"But at Portman Road we've often started quick since we've been here, apart from the Wimbledon game, and we wanted to maintain that.
"Once you get early goals like that then the game's gone. Second half was always going to be a little bit fiddly. They came out and changed the formation, made it a little bit more difficult, but I thought they were brilliant today the boys. They started on the front foot, worked their socks off and we come away more than happy."
It may have been another hugely disappointing season, which will be remembered almost entirely for off-field reasons, but Roberts insists there are positives to take from the last three matches.
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"We possibly should have scored more goals at Swindon (2-1 win), definitely at Shrewsbury (0-0 draw) and then to get three goals today was pleasing.
"It's been a little bit painful for us in front of goal, but today we got three and are more than happy.
"We've tried to put players into positions to cause damage and sometimes it doesn't happen. We haven't had much luck in front of goal as well. You need luck. Luck is big in the game. We've tried to put players in positions to hurt teams but we haven't really gone on and killed teams or punished teams like we should.
"But today we did, we blew them away and deserved to win the game.
"There was a lot of energy in the team. I thought Troy Parrott was brilliant and linked well with James Norwood. There's a bit of a partnership going there, which is a little bit too late now because he goes back (to parent club Tottenham)!
"And young (Armando) Dobra was a breath of fresh air today."
Norwood took his goal tally into double digits for the second season in a row, which is an impressive feat given the injuries he has battled since joining the club.
"He's a good striker. He's scored goals all his life," said Roberts. "He's had a couple of niggles here and there, but if he can clear them up he'll be a big player for us."
There are 20 first team players now coming to the end of their contracts or loan spells at Portman Road, including long-serving captain Luke Chambers and vice-captain Cole Skuse.
Chambers came back into the starting XI in place of the injured Kane Vincent-Young to make his 396th appearance for the club, while Skuse was introduced late on for his 280th outing for the Blues.
Asked if we should read anything into Town players giving Chambers some big embraces at the end, Roberts replied: "There will be meetings tomorrow. Players will sit down with the manager and we'll discuss all that. It's not for me to say what's going to happen.
"He's an unbelievable player (Chambers). I'm a couple of years older than him and the body on him compared to mine is something different! I don't know what they've been eating down here!
"He's a terrific player, a really good lad and has been great for this club. He did well today, played really well and it was a big win."
With it set to be a summer of big changes at Portman Road under the club's ambitious new American owners, Roberts added: "The squad's big, it's really big. There's quality in it, but when managers come in they do want their own players. We want to improve this club. There's a bit of a buzz going around the town now. I've been here before, I've got a feel for the place, I know it a little bit and I know what these fans are craving.
"We've come in, we didn't get to where we want to be, but next season we'll have a right go and hopefully bring some faces in that get the fans off their seats"